Summary: A look at the dangers of stubbornness.
WHEN WE DON'T LIKE WHERE GOD IS LEADING: Jonah would rather die than change.
- Jonah 1:12.
A CROSS PROBLEM: Too many Christians are more defined by crossed arms than by the cross of Christ.
- Too many of us confuse stubbornness with conviction.
- What’s the difference? Conviction has to do with being steadfast on the things that are eternal and matters where compromise would be fatal. Stubbornness has to do with liking things my way no matter how petty the issue is.
- Another way to say it: stubborn v. steadfast.
- Many churches will not budge to see God do a new, fresh thing because it requires that they change and they are unwilling to do so.
WHAT THEY LOVE TO SAY: “I just don’t like it.”
- Notice in that phrase that there really isn’t a reason for what they think. They just don’t like it.
- Usually it has to do with petty preferences or with not likely to do things a different way.
- What’s missing, though, is a Scriptural foundation. They don’t have a Biblical reason for why they think the way they do.
- Another similar phrase often used: “I just don’t want to.”
- Now, it’s important to note that I’m not talking about when someone is pursuing change for the sake of change. There can be an equally-wrong desire to grasp onto novelty just because it’s different.
- That’s just as wrong as the stubbornness I’m talking about.
- The goal is to always have Biblical reasons for why we do what we do.
- There is a big difference between “I don’t like it” and “The Spirit is not leading.”
- Churches rarely split over matters of conviction. It’s almost always matters of preference.
- The reality is that our will is not always God’s will and we need to make sure that we’re not putting our desires over His will.
- There is a tendency that the longer we’re a Christian, the more likely we are to get set in our ways and to want things to stay the same. That’s certainly understandable, but if we’re standing in the way of what God wants to do, then we need to watch out.
a. You find someone in your normal pew seat.
- Is your response: “That’s my seat” or “It’s so exciting to have visitors.”
b. There’s a new song done in worship.
- Is your response: “Why do we have to ever do a new song?” or “It’s a part of having young people and I’m so thankful to have young people.”
c. Having the new people serving.
- Is your response: “They’re taking over!” or “It’s great to see the new people serving.”
TWO KEY PASSAGES FOR STUBBORN CHRISTIANS:
1. On evangelism, it’s our job to change to make the message as accessible as possible.
2. On discipleship, it’s a sign of spiritual immaturity to always demand things be the way you want.
- Unpacking the chapter:
a. v. 1 – This chapter is about weak brothers and sisters.
- That is, those whose faith is not as mature.
b. v. 10 – We often treat those who disagree with us as immature.
- We are frequently dismissive of them.
c. vv. 13-15 – As a more mature believer, my job is not to demand that I always get my way, but instead to make accommodations for my weaker brother or sister.
d. vv. 20-21 – On disputable matters, I don’t want to do anything that causes my weaker brother or sister to stumble.
A FINAL QUESTION: Do I really want to say, “No” to God?